NFL Players Blame MetLife Stadium's Artificial Turf For Aaron Rodgers' Achilles Injury, Call For Grass Replacement – OutKick

by Mike Gunzelman September 12, 2023, 10:56 amupdated September 12, 2023, 12:24 pm

Maybe they should have listened to the players. Flytefoam

NFL Players Blame MetLife Stadium's Artificial Turf For Aaron Rodgers' Achilles Injury, Call For Grass Replacement – OutKick

After last night’s devastating Achilles injury Jets quarterback Aaron Rodgers suffered on the team’s first drive of the game, social media erupted into trying to find someone or something to blame.

Congrats @nfl. How many more players have to get hurt on ARTIFICIAL TURF??! You care more about soccer players than us. You plan to remove all artificial turf for the World Cup coming up. So clearly it’s feasible. I’m sick of this..Do better!

In recent years, players and the NFLPA have called for the league to remove all turf fields and use the much-preferred real grass. The players argue that the turf fields cause more injuries – especially on the lower part of the leg, ankle, foot and more because it’s harder to pivot or get a grip compared to cleats on natural grass. San Francisco 49ers defensive back Nick Bosa famously blasted the turf for which he says directly related to a 2020 season-ending ACL injury. Wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr has joined in the ban call as well.

The league, however, countered the NFLPA that their own research shows no rise in safety issues.

What’s interesting about the Rodgers situation is that MetLife Stadium is the ONLY team to use a brand new synthetic dual-polymer fiber turf this season. The single-blade “grass” is known to be smoother but that also comes with concerns that it could be slicker when wet, which last night was after a severe pregame rainfall.

So will the NFL now listen after the whole world saw the biggest story of the year go down with a likely season-ending injury?

So @MetLifeStadium are the only team to have installed a new dual-polymer fiber turf this season. Problem is – and quote me when everyone says this tomorrow please, is they need new footwear / cleats for it. Regular turf shoes don’t work as well bc they aren’t designed for it

Social media went absolutely crazy after Rodgers injury. Jets fans lost their minds, gamblers freaked out as they saw their bank account dreams just go into the abyss, while overall sports fans were just dumbfounded.

However, current and former NFL players took a different route – with some going after MetLife Stadium’s turf field.

Rodgers former Packers teammate David Bakhtiari absolutely blasted the league for still using artificial turf while also insinuating that they are choosing profits over safety. “How many more players have to get hurt on artificial turf?! You play to remove all artificial turf for the World Cup coming up… so clearly it’s feasible [to get rid of the turf now]”

The NFLPA president calls for “The Immediate Replacement and Ban of all Slit Film Turf” and to “Clear the excess people and dangerous equipment from the sidelines,” among other measures.

After the game, Jets wide receiver Randall Cobb agreed. “We wanted the NFL to protect the players with grass fields, but the NFL is more worried about making money. Profit over people, it’s always been the case. I’ve never been a fan of turf. That’s my stance,” the former Packer said.

Jets running back Dalvin Cook, who signed with the team this offseason from Minnesota, also mentioned to reporters how much slicker the turf was, although didn’t go as far as Cobb did. “I played on turf in Minnesota so I know it. I didn’t think it was bad here. It was just wet. I slipped a little bit at first,” the 4x Pro Bowler said.

Is the new turf supposed to look this bad? @MetLifeStadium #BUFvsNYJ 📷 @ESPNNFL

This past summer MetLife Stadium took out their turf and used all grass for the Arsenal vs Manchester United match. For the upcoming 2026 World Cup games, FIFA demanded that SoFi Stadium and others replace their turf with real grass as well.

Hell, even newly signed Inter Miami soccer superstar Lionel Messi has threatened to not play any games on artificial turf.

If turf isn’t good for Messi, then why would it be considered good for another great in Aaron Rodgers?

And for the love of God can we stop messing with the damn fields? Remember the geniuses that decided to use a new scientific-engineered “grass” for the first time ever and they did it for the Super Bowl o fall games?! That turned out just great… yeah, right.

It’s time for the league and stadium operators to stop slipping and step up on solid ground and remove all synthetic fields.

Aaron RodgersDavid BakhtiariNew York JetsNFL

Mike “Gunz” Gunzelman has been involved in the sports and media industry for over a decade. He’s also a risk taker - the first time he ever had sushi was from a Duane Reade in Penn Station in NYC.

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NFL Players Blame MetLife Stadium's Artificial Turf For Aaron Rodgers' Achilles Injury, Call For Grass Replacement – OutKick

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